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Underage pregnancy sentence challenged

Northern Ireland's Director of Public Prosecutions has launched an unprecedented personal bid to have a tougher sentence imposed on a man who got a schoolgirl pregnant.

Barra McGrory QC argued in the Court of Appeal that the two-and-a-half year suspended term handed down was unduly lenient.

The man, in his 20s, pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a child as he was about to go on trial at Omagh Crown Court in January.

He previously denied sleeping with the victim, who was then aged 15 and later had an abortion. DNA tests on a foetal sample confirmed he was the father.

The man met the girl at a pub in 2010. She was bought drinks before going back to his home where they had unprotected sex.

In what is believed to be the first challenge brought in person by a Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr McGrory said the man must have known he was with a child under the influence of alcohol.

Judgment was reserved.

Belfast Telegraph